Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has hinted that the club are working on a plan to bring unsettled Chelsea striker Diego Costa back to the club.
The Spain striker is looking to leave Stamford Bridge this summer after claiming boss Antonio Conte told him by text he was no longer wanted by the Blues.
However, any return to Atletico looks complicated, with the La Liga club unable to register any new players until January 2018 after FIFA’s transfer ban was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Atletico were punished by FIFA in January 2016 for breaching rules regarding international transfers of players aged under 16.
The Spanish club are still, nevertheless, being linked with their former striker, who scored 26 goals in 46 games in all competitions last season as Chelsea won the Premier League title.
Costa, who scored 43 goals in 94 league appearances for Atletico before Chelsea triggered his £32million buyout clause in the summer of 2014, is keen to return to his old club.
And Cerezo, while refusing to confirm a direct interest in Costa, admitted his side are making plans for the January transfer window.
“He is the one that has to say and decide,” Cerezo told Cadena Ser when questioned if Costa could wait until January to move. “Costa is a Chelsea player and we can’t even say that we are interested. What I can say is that we are in a situation [transfer ban] where we are working for the future.”
The latest reports have suggested Costa could look to secure a loan move for six months – possibly to AC Milan – before completing a switch to Atletico in January.